Thai Government Improves Sanitation to Fight Dengue
Created: 2013-06-27 04:22 EST
Thailand's government has taken measures to improve public health as cases of the tropical disease Dengue fever are multiplying rapidly.
The disease is at epidemic levels in parts of South East Asia.
It's spread by mosquitoes, which are multiplying rapidly in the current rainy season.
In mild cases, the virus feels like flu, but it can develop into fever, internal bleeding and death.
With no known cure, there have already been a high number of deaths.
To eradicate the virus-carrying mosquitoes and flies, the Thai government has dispatched teams of people to pump highly-toxic insecticide into drains, under portable stalls and throughout public areas.
[Benya Intharavongchot, Chief Environmental Officer, Pathumwan District, Bangkok]:
"At the moment we are spraying here every day, normally it would only be once a month. But because people have been getting sick, we are trying to get rid of the infected mosquitoes."
Thailand has recorded just over 54,000 cases so far in 2013, including 62 deaths from January to June, of which more than half were children.
It's not just Thailand thats affected, Singapore has seen more than 10,000 cases, while the Philippines has reported more than 42,000 and Malaysia more than 10,000 cases, all at epidemic levels.
[Srivicha Krudsood, Faculty of Tropical Medicine, Mahidol University]:
"… This kind of mosquito which we call Aedes Aegypti which usually bite a patient in day time, it is usually in the day time so it is different from malaria or the other vector borne diseases which usually occur in the night time."
The mosquitoes breed in waste and drain water from local people's apartments and Thai Health Department officials visit residents urging them to regularly clean their waste containers and drains and to use insecticide.